The Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative has published a report summarizing findings from the first annual peer review in April 2017. The report reviews 30 of the 87 publicly funded projects in the portfolio and is structured around the six technical pillars outlined in the Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan: Design and Planning Tools; Devices and Integrated Systems; Institutional Support; Security and Resilience; Sensing and Measurement; and System Operations, Power Flow, and Control.
Three Sandia-led projects were included in the review as summarized below:
The GMLC Testing Network aims to accelerate grid modernization by improving access to national laboratory testing infrastructure and models. There are two components to this project: a Testing Network that will function as a coordinated lab-based resource for standards-based testing and validation of grid devices and systems; and an Open Library to serve as a public repository of component models, simulation tools, and testing procedures. Together, the Testing Network and Open Library will allow for quick determination of testing capabilities, avoid model duplication, help identify collaboration activities, streamline partnership mechanisms, and harmonize best practices. Through industry engagement, the GMLC Testing Network will help drive standardization and adoption of best practices related to device characterization, model validation, and simulation capabilities.
Reviewers agreed that the approach to facilitate DOE’s testing capabilities and modeling resources to be more accessible to stakeholders was valuable and noted the strong progress the project has made in developing a testing capabilities catalog of DOE national laboratory facilities. Recommendations made by the reviewers included suggestions for increased stakeholder engagement and more direct examples of how models and testing resources can be utilized as a total rather than a component solution. These suggestions are being implemented by the project team to improve the project’s impact.
This project helped identify a set of cost-effective options for enhancing grid operations and community resilience in New Orleans, LA through infrastructure impact modeling and analysis, design and integration of grid modernization options, transactive control feasibility study, and resilience cost/benefit analysis. Recommendations from this project were delivered in the form of conceptual designs that can be used to rank energy infrastructure improvement options and set implementation and funding priorities.
Reviewers noted that this is a high priority project for both addressing problems in a major city using microgrids and looking toward larger infrastructure resilience issues. Resilience is critical for grid operations during emergencies, and the team’s approach to bring different groups from across New Orleans together to identify locations where grid vulnerabilities were most critical was an important accomplishment. The reviewers expressed concern that the technical lessons learned might not be applicable to other major U.S. cities, making it difficult to generalize the results. Although this project has concluded, DOE will reflect upon the results of this project when planning for future R&D projects.
This project provided technical support and analysis to the State of Vermont and its electric utilities to meet the ambitious goal of obtaining 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050 by modeling and optimizing distributed energy resources (DER) and energy storage integration and improving load forecasting. Using an integrated approach to enable the high penetration of renewables at the distribution level, the project will serve as a template for other utilities across the United States.
Reviewers thought the project’s progress given the ambitious timeline was impressive and that the team’s approach to DER integration modeling was noteworthy, including the use of Advanced Metering Infrastructure data and weather forecasting. DOE will discuss how to tie in previous DOE-Vermont work to this project and will consider sharing findings with neighboring states looking at DER in their state energy planning.
The Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) works with public and private partners to develop the concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future. The GMLC was established as a strategic partnership between DOE and the national laboratories to bring together leading experts, technologies, and resources to collaborate on the goal of modernizing the nation’s grid. Learn more about Sandia’s involvement with GMLC.